I humbly beseech thy tender mercies. I need help, it

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Forum topic by fussy posted 05-29-2010 09:08 AM 2028 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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980 posts in 3048 days

05-29-2010 09:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Wood lovers of the world, let me draw upon the vast reservoir of skill and knowledge if you will grant my request for urgent help. I am stuck deeply in a honey-do project for which all phases of construction have been approved by the the ChaNCCELOR OF lOVE; SAVE ONE. My task is to replace the steps in a 32 yr. old split foyer with red oak steps stained and varnished to perfection to match the Gunstock finish on the new floor in the livingroom at the top of the stairs. The plan calls for me to produce the stair treads in turn, finish before installation, then install such a way that nails don’t show—-AT ALL. My solution, after fitting and scribing each tread to its riser, as the tread will be finished and dry, would be to use construction adhesive instead of those ugly old nails that my lovely bride gets excercised over,

My question is this; Would construction adhesive hold the tread risers strongly enough, give the red oak enough give to allow expansion and contraction wirhout coming loose, or should I violate the purity of those natural wonders by driving (gasp!) nails through them? I weep at the thought. Actually, I think it will work, but I don’t someone to tumble because we were to worried about esthetics. So help me out here. Because they will be in use as soon as they go down, they will be finished and dry beforehand, so a nail or two will show.

What are my options? Glue, nails, combo, or dowels glued in tread, finished on top, then glued into pre-drilled holes in each riser. Not as pleasing to contemplate, but might get past the powers-that-be. What say you, my friends?


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

8 replies so far

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3062 days

#1 posted 05-29-2010 12:32 PM

I would not use a adhesive. I have a split level entry. I happen to have storage under them. I am planning to do the samething as you. I plan on using screws from underneath, to attach mine. If you dont have the storage, I would use screws from top the put a plug overthem so they can’t be seen.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View knotscott's profile


8013 posts in 3373 days

#2 posted 05-29-2010 01:02 PM

You’ve got a way with words Steve! If you don’t mind, I think I’m gonna borrow the “Chancelor of Love” phrase sometime! :D

As far as the steps go…construction adhesive “might” hold, but I don’t think I’d wanna go to that much trouble and not know for sure. I’m thinking some mechanical fasteners of some sort would help the adhesive a lot. Hidden screws from underneath would be easier, but if you don’t have that access, a stopped sliding dovetail mechanism entered my mind….you could always make the dovetail rail and fasten it down to the stringer, and put the receiving slot in the bottom of the tread, then augment that with glue or adhesive.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3072 days

#3 posted 05-29-2010 02:30 PM

I think I would use deep set screws and hide the screw heads under some oak plugs. I would probably make the plugs myself out of oak that really matches with respect to color and grain and, of course, insert the plugs such that the grain lined up. If done right, it will take a very keen eye to see these plugs.

Another option is to make the plugs out of a different wood and make them a design feature.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3339 days

#4 posted 05-29-2010 02:31 PM

biquits ,
dowels ,
but screw and plugs work good .
if the stringers are not set yet ,
cleats to inside of them ,
and screws to under treads .
then everything to cover cleats on landing face .
if you don’t have risers ,
a backboard from stringer to stringer ,
attached to landing face .

maybe buy her a new mercedes ,
so she doesn’t notice the steps for a while (LOL) !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View ShawnH's profile


90 posts in 4073 days

#5 posted 05-29-2010 02:51 PM

Kindly explain to the Chancellor that she is just that, the chancellor of love. Not the Comandante of construction. Of course, I jest as I am fully aware of the position the chancellor has in the house. Good luck to you my friend, Good luck.

-- ShawnH "In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3575 days

#6 posted 05-29-2010 05:30 PM

I agree with Rich and david.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3048 days

#7 posted 06-01-2010 01:08 AM

Thanks all,

I posted my thanks earlier, but it’s not here, so I’ll do it again. I appreciate all the advice. I’m going to start on the first step on the lower level so if I screw it up, it won’t show so badly. First I’ll try one with adhesive, then see how it works. If I have to use nails, I’ll just make the plugs a design feature—kinda the way Andy Rooney made THREE legs of a Shaker table alike and called it a design feature.

Thanks again.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2959 days

#8 posted 06-01-2010 01:13 AM

Same idea as Eagle1. I glued mine with a few dots of contruction adhesive and screws put in from the bottom. Wish I hadn’t glued them as I need to remove them for some unanticipated trim work. I might get brave and try to get one up and see what happens.

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